Centre for Road Safety

policeman at random breath test

Drink driving is a factor in about one in every five crashes in NSW where someone loses their life. Of the drink drivers who are killed, 97 per cent are men and 64 per cent are under the age of 40.

You don't have to be drunk to be affected by alcohol. You might feel normal but no one drives well after drinking alcohol.

Novice drivers with any level of alcohol in their blood are at a much higher risk of crashing. This is why learner and provisional licence holders are restricted to a zero alcohol limit.

Getting back to zero (sobering up), takes a long time. No amount of coffee, food, physical activity or sleep will speed up the process.

In NSW, police have the power to:

  • Stop drivers at random to test for alcohol.
  • Arrest drivers who have an illegal BAC level
  • Arrest drivers they believe are impaired by drugs including alcohol, and conduct a blood and urine test
  • Require a driver to undergo a sobriety test in certain circumstances.

Since the introduction of Random Breath Test (RBT) in 1982, fatal crashes involving alcohol have dropped from around 40 per cent of all fatalities to the current level of 19 per cent.

Last year police conducted more than 4.5 million breath tests in NSW.